|Subject: Re: NYC hotels/Long Island|
For a good deal on hotels in New York, you could try Hotwire or Priceline if you can live with their restrictions. On my home page, with my signature below, I link to some sites that can help with using these sites. I also show some sites for locating hotel deals if you want to know what your hotel is before you commit to it.
As for making local phone calls from hotels, especially if they're quick informational calls, I use a prepaid phone card; a card that I got at Wal-Mart has lasted a long time. Even if the cards are meant for long distance calls, they also work well for local calls while traveling. The downside is that it means punching a lot of numbers in to make a local call.